|A paid up commercial by Orange Kenya displaying cross community name charges. [PHOTO: FILE/STANDARD]|
By JEVANS NYABIAGE AND EMMANUEL WERE
NAIROBI, KENYA: The gloves are off for a brand new spherical of mudslinging and messy battle for the native cell phone providers market. Orange Kenya has gone naked knuckle depicting Safaricom’s name tariff as costly in comparison with its personal, probably opening up a brand new all-out conflict to battle for shoppers within the aggressive cell phone market.
The cellular operator, which is 70 per cent owned by French telecom large France Telecoms, in a paid up advert yesterday makes use of inexperienced (the Safaricom company color) to indicate how calls from one ‘Safaricom’ person to a different ‘Safaricom’ person prices Sh4 per minute.
The advert then cheekily reveals how a name from Orange to Safaricom prices solely Sh3 per minute.
“It’s extra inexpensive calling the opposite community (Safaricom) from Orange than calling inside that community (Safaricom). So get an Orange line out of your nearest Orange supplier at the moment, and speak, all day, all evening on the everlasting Tujuane tariff,” stated Orange in its paid up advert.
For Orange it’s an try to achieve out to the 20 million Safaricom voice clients who principally name inside the community. Safaricom controls about 70 per cent of the voice market. Orange, Essar and Airtel have been attempting to battle Safaricom with decrease costs for his or her voice merchandise.
However Safaricom has been pushing aggressively to remodel its providers to greater than voice with the M-Pesa, M-Shwari and different providers like linking one’s checking account to the cellular sim card. This implies many shoppers are unlikely to shift having been “locked in” Safaricom.
Satirically, Safaricom grew its voice revenues by 12 per cent to Sh41.92 billion within the six months to November. The opposite three cellular networks have been making losses in Kenya. The query is how Safaricom will reply to the most recent onslaught. Will it transfer to court docket?
When contacted, Safaricom’s head of Company Communications Ann Nderi stated the corporate’s advertisements all the time attempt to goal shoppers and the merchandise it provides not what different operators supply. “We don’t touch upon different firm’s adverts,” she stated.
Cell phones may very well be reverted to the bitter rivalry final witnessed of their formative levels. In August 2010, Airtel went allure offensive and overtly chided Safaricom with the road “Going Inexperienced just isn’t all the time the Higher Possibility” in a newspaper advert. Inexperienced is Safaricom’s color and “The Higher Possibility” is Safaricom tagline.
Again in 2000, then Kencell picked on its opponents community infrastructure and ran a marketing campaign that popularly turned out to be known as ‘Congested-Related’.
It’s only some months in the past that Unilever — via its model Omo moved to court docket to dam adverts by competitor Procter and Gamble — the producer of Ariel.
Unilever had utilized that “Ariel adverts falsely and by implication depict their product Omo as being grossly incapable of eradicating stains in a single wash”.